Echoes of JazzFestBrno: Hiromi, Aaron Parks and Shai Maestro

6 June 2019, 2:00
Echoes of JazzFestBrno: Hiromi, Aaron Parks and Shai Maestro

The autumn Echoes of JazzFestBrno will take place for the sixth time in a row. This year they will belong to pianists. One of the most prominent representatives of contemporary Asian music production, Hiromi Uehara from Japan, will appear. Her show will be followed by a concert of the American jazzman Aaron Parks, who will appear in Brno in the role of bandleader with a project entitled Little Big. In the second part of the evening, Shai Maestro will perform with his trio.

Concerts of the Japanese composer and pianist Hiromi are very energetic, characterized by a mixture of jazz, progressive rock, classical music and fusion. “For me, it's just a mixture of what I like to listen to and what I've learned. In my music you will find elements of classical music, rock and jazz, but I do not dare categorise my work into any genre. I leave this job to others, " says Hiromi. She released her debut album Another Mind in 2003 and since then she has added nine more albums, either under her own name or with her bands The Trio Project and Hiromi's Sonicbloom. Hiromi has also worked with a number of legendary jazz musicians. She recorded and toured with Chick Corea, won the Grammy with Stanley Clark's trio. She will be presented at the Echoes of JazzFestBrno in a solo format that gives her maximum space to explore her own creative incentives. "Only few performers can fill a solo piano recital with such explosiveness and exciting unpredictability as Hiromi," says Spilka.

Another musician to appear at the Echoes of JazzFestBrno is the pianist and keyboardist Aaron Parks. He released his debut album Invisible Cinema under the prestigious Blue Note label at the age of 25. Previously, he participated in three albums by Terence Blanchard under the same label. BBC critics have proclaimed the album as one of the best albums of the year 2008 and the Jazz Times magazine appraised Parks as a "new jazz visionary". The other achievements of Aaron Parks were also very successful. In the course of his career, he also worked with many distinguished musicians such as Kurt Rosenwinkel, Dhafer Youssef, Gretchen Parlato or Marcus Miller. He is also a founding member of the band James Farm, together with Joshua Redman, Matt Penman and Eric Harland. The band Little Big is some sort of a logical continuation of the trajectory leading from his first album to contemporary, melodic writing of themes with modern rhythms and electronic sound possibilities. Guitarist Greg Tuohey, bass player DJ Ginyard and drummer Tommy Crane put their experience in Aaron Parks' music, not just from jazz but also electronic music, R&B, indie pop or alternative country, creating original and vibrant music that reaches audiences all around the world.

The Israeli pianist Shai Maestro is very popular with the Brno audience. He started playing the piano at the age of five, and met with jazz for the first time when he was eight years old. He was intrigued by a recording of Gershwin's Songbook, made by Oscar Peterson. Shai Maestro Trio earned success with audiences in the famous New York clubs as well as other places, and released four enthusiastically  acclaimed recordings – Shai Maestro Trio, The Road to Ithaca, Untold Stories and The Stone Skipper. Now Shai Maestro comes to Brno, his favourite destination, to present his new album The Dream Thief, which has been released on the prestigious ECM label, and has received a warm welcome from audiences and music reviewers – for example, the Jazz Thing magazine compares Maestro's new album to the best recordings of the legendary pianist Keith Jarrett. Traditional Maestro's companion, the Peruvian double bassist Jorge Roeder, and a new member of the trio, the Israeli drummer Fore Nehemiah have had a significant influence on the final shape of the album. The Dream Thief does not avoid even burning social issues. For example, one of the songs has in  its background several extracts from Barack Obama's speech he held after shooting at one of the American schools. “I think when artists have a stage available, it is their duty to talk about the world we live in. For me, this is a way of resistance to the today's terrible "normality", " says Maestro


3 November  2019

Janáček Theatre


11 November at 19:30

Sono Centrum

Aaron Parks "Little Big"  

Shai Maestro Trio

Hiromi/ photo from archive of the festival



No comment added yet..

For the opening concert of the 20th anniversary season of the Špilberk Festival yesterday, the Brno Philharmonic chose a dramaturgy consisting of proven as well as lesser-known pieces. The subtitle Romantic Carnival immersed all evening in the carnival spirit associated with celebrations before the carnival opening. The aim of the programme was to characterize the period of merriment, celebrations and masks by compositions that tell with their mood about this period of the year. The almost full-up castle courtyard had the opportunity to enjoy an unpretentious and appealing programme, which also with its lower temperature more easily approached that cold carnival period.       more

As a UNESCO-listed city of music, Brno has had four festival days full of music and dance. Tens of concerts and performances with hundreds of performers took place at twenty-two music venues. Music in the streets sounded on every corner, but most attention this year was attracted by four rooms by the artist Kateřina Šedá, in which artists of different genres and nationalities took turns. Another attraction was the performances of the British Motionhouse and No Fit State Circus, who repeatedly enchanted the Náměstí Svobody Square with their acrobatic pieces and breathtaking performances. Two large stages were also set up – Dominik Stage on Dominikánské Square and Django Stage on Malinovského Square, on which appeared artists such as Jana Kirschner, Monika Bagárová, minus123minutes or Jan P. Muchow & The Antagonists. Traditionally, the festival was accompanied by the sound of barrel organs whose players met in Brno as part of their 10th international meeting. This year, singer and multi-instrumentalist Tinatin Tsereteli (Hannover) and violinist Nicola Manzan (Bologna) as artists from UNESCO partner cities of music also premiered at the Brno Music Marathon. The atmosphere of the festival is captured in the video below.  more

Folkové prázdniny [Folk Holidays] in Náměšť nad Oslavou is a festival standing out with its dramaturgy, structure and atmosphere. Every season has its own theme, every evening has its own theme, and even some individual performances have their own themes. The long-time programme director Michal Schmidt managed this year to excellently balance Czech premiéres and truly extraordinary projects with reappearances and sure bets. This year's theme of Folkové prázdniny was About the Soul; however, this week-long event has its soul every year.  more

The group Nebeztebe (a pun containing both "Not without You" and "Heaven from You) literally shone in the Brno scene a few years ago. The five-member line-up, with its marked rhythms, seemingly above styles, celebrated victory at Porta and headed for the giant multi-genre festivals. Under bandleader Štěpán Hulc seemingly the band went to sleep and only returned this year with a brand new, three-member line-up. The new Nebeztebe is made up of guitar, violin and mandolin and has not given up on taking a multi-genre approach. Once more they are giving concerts and are coming out with the concept album Zásobování duše (which might be translated as Supplying the Soul).  more

One of the musicians who will appear at Folkové prázdniny [Folk Holidays] in Náměšť nad Oslavou as part of a special programme called Harfy nad Oslavou [Harps upon Oslava], is the Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda. In Náměšť, he will also give a solo recital as part of an evening called O duši s lehkostí i naléhavostí [About Soul with Lightness and Urgency]. In our telephone conversation – we called him to New York where he lives – we talked to Edmar Castañeda, for example, about a harp specially constructed according to his requirements, or about his cooperation with the Czech singer Marta Töpferová.  more